If you are going to visit Mt.Huashan on your Xian trip, don’t miss Xiyue Temple, which is bound with Mt.Huashan in one entrance ticket. That means if you buy an entrance ticket for Mt.Huashan, you can use the same ticket to enter Xiyue Temple. Of course, this is not the main reason that you should visit Xiyue Temple. I think, Xiyue Temple itself is really worth your time for a look, broadening your knowledge of Chinese traitional culture.
As you know, Mt.Huashan is one of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China. Each of them has a temple to shrine the God of its mountain. As Dai Temple for the God of Mt.Taishan, Xiyue Temple is for the God of Mt.Huashan. “Xiyue” means the West Mountain, one of the five Taoist mountains ( east, west, north, south and central mountains).
Xiyue Temple was originally built by Wu Emperor (134BC) in West Han Dynasty (202BC-09AD). It was relocated to the present place in East Han Dynasty (25AD-220AD). The temple received great expansions in Sui and Tang dynasties (581AD-907AD). It further developed and reached its climax in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368AD-1911AD). Unfortunately Xiyue Temple was heavily damaged during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
In 1979 with the establishment of Xiyue Temple Relics Administration, Xiyue Temple’s great restoration work started. In 1988, Xiyue Temple was listed as China’s National Key Protection Relics. Now Huashan Scenic Spot has become a AAAAA national scenic area, attracting huge number of tourists home and abroad each year.
Entrance Ticket (combined with Mt.Huashan):
RMB 180 (Mar-Nov)
RMB 100 (Dec-Feb)
Remark: Your ticket is valid for two days.
How to get there
Xiyue Temple is about 1.5km south of Huashan Railway Station (north station) and 5km north of Mt.Huashan. With an entrance ticket, you are able to use the free shuttle buses running between Xiyue Temple and Mt.Huashan. From Huashan Railway Station, you can easily get to Xiyue Temple by half hour’s walk.
Xiyue Temple used to be an imperial worshipping place for the God of Mt.Huashan. So its buildings had higher level of architectures, quite different from the temples of the local communities or common people. It resembles the greatness of Forbidden City. See the photo below, does it look like Forbidden City? It is Xiyue Temple!
Look like “Forbidden City?. It is Xiyue Temple! Xiyue Temple faces Mt.Huanshan. Its basic layout goes along the axis from south to north through 6 courtyards including Haoling Gate, Lingxing Gate, Jincheng Gate, Imperial Garden, Wanshou Pavilion etc. The present temple is mainly based on the remaints of Ming and Qing dynasties.
An huge colored glazed screen wall, 30m long and 6m wide, stands in front of the Xiyue Temple Gate.
This is the first gate of Xiyue Temple, named “Haoling Gate”, also called “Three Gates” indicating the inner city between the gates. It was first built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is brick-stone city wall architecture with coloured glazed tiles in single-eave saddle roof style.
The first gate of Xiyue Temple also called – Three Gates – indicating the inner city between the gates. The charactors above the gate read “Building Xiyue Temple at the imperial order”.
The gate gets its name from Ling Star, in ancient time, people sacrifice the star to pray for good harvest. The gate door shape is like window lattice. so it was renamed as the present one. It was a group of Ming-Qing architectures.
The gate door shape is like window lattice
It was a group of Ming-Qing architectures
Jincheng Gate is in front of the main building in Xiyue Temple – Haoling Palace. When originally built in Ming Dynasty, it was named Jintian Gate. After Zuo Zhongtang, the general of Qing Dynasty surpressed the rebellion, the gate was renamed “Jincheng Gate”, meaning the golden city gate, solid and firm for the area.
Golden River Bridge
Known as Watching Immortal Bridge, it is a stone arch bridge of three-bridge and 4-ponds structure.
The pavilions in front of Haoling Palace
Haoling Palace is the master palace in Xiyue Temple, a leading place to sacrifice the God of Mt.Huanshan, which in the past was done by the numerous emperors in successive dynasties. In the palace, the statue of Huashan God and other gods are worshipped here.
Behind Haoling Palace is the sleep palace for the God of Huashan and his wife. It is a single-eave saddle roof style. It is a place for God to settle down.
Yushu Lou (Imperial Calligraphy Building)
The buiding houses a stele engraved with the charactors written by Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. The imperial calligraphy was used to pray for rain.
Longevity Tower is the last and the highest building in Xiyue Temple. It is a 3-storey structure built on a high platform. Unfortunately it was destroyed in war. The present tower was rebuilt in 2000.
Xiyue Temple City Wall and Corner Towers
The Xiyue Temple is laid out like a Ming-Qing Palace. It is rectangle in shape with 525m long(north-south) and 225m wide (east-west). Each of its four corners has a corner tower similar to those of Forbidden City.
Xiyue Temple City Wall
Wall and Corner Tower
Temple, Wall and Tower
Again have a look at the splendid temple
Don’t miss Xiyue Temple. Any question, please drop a line.